LEMONT, Ill. ― Jan. 18, 2017 ― During the month of December, the CITGO Lemont Refinery hosted 38 science and math teachers from 24 area schools for a STEM workshop as a way to further enhance the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum used in local schools.

As a part of the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline initiative, and in partnership with The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, teachers spent the day at the Lemont Township Community Center engaging in hands-on training and interactive games learning NEED concepts. Furthermore, each workshop participant received additional resources to help students better understand the oil and gas refining process: a NEED Science of Energy Kit and a NEED Oil and Gas Kit.

CITGO has partnered with NEED to increase knowledge of energy in local schools through teacher training and energy curriculum. The goal is to encourage interest not only in STEM-related subjects, but also in oil, gas and transportation industry careers.

“As a company, we are invested in the education and success of the young people in our community. STEM workshops like these provide resources for our schools, as well as training for future engineers, scientists and technologists for our industry,” said Jim Cristman, vice president and general manager of the CITGO Lemont Refinery.

Teachers who attended the CITGO NEED Energy Workshop represented the following schools: Bernard J. Ward Elementary School (Bolingbrook); Everest Academy (Lemont); Fairmont Elementary School (Lockport); Girls Scouts of Central Illinois; Hall Township Echo Bluff Park; Indian Trail Middle School (Plainfield); Irene King Elementary School (Romeoville); Jonas Salk Elementary School (Bolingbrook); Kelvin Grove Jr. High School (Lockport); Kenneth L. Hermansen Elementary School (Romeoville); Lemont High School; Lockport Township High School; Ludwig Grade School (Lockport); Milne Grove School (Lockport); Oak Prairie Junior High School (Lockport); Oak View Elementary School (Bolingbrook); Old Quarry Middle School (Lemont); Plainfield South High School; Richland School (Crest Hill); River Valley School (Lemont); Robert C. Hill Elementary School (Romeoville); SS. Cyril & Methodius School (Lemont); Taft School (Lockport); and Yorkville Middle School.

In addition to the workshop for teachers, on December 6, CITGO Lemont employees who regularly make presentations at local schools or serve with afterschool clubs were also given the opportunity to participate in a NEED Energy Workshop. The CITGO engineers and scientists engaged in a two-hour outreach training session and learned about resources they can use to promote STEM education and careers when visiting students.

The CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline program partners with educational organizations near the company’s operational areas to increase access to educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. The program promotes the importance of STEM education in the socioeconomic development of our communities and highlights the numerous pathways to rewarding careers, including those in the energy industry. It provides grants to schools and educational organizations to support programs that increase student interest, retention and graduation rates – particularly at the high school and post-secondary levels – and those that prepare students for STEM technical and university level curriculum. The program also provides scholarships for students pursuing higher degrees in STEM fields. In 2016, the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline benefited 3,000 students and 300 educators across the CITGO operational footprint, strengthening the communities where the company has a presence.

About the CITGO Lemont Refinery
For over 90 years, CITGO Lemont Refinery has employed more than 750 Chicago area residents on a full-time and contract basis in support of the local economy. In addition to producing high quality fuels for a large portion of the network of nearly 5,500 locally-owned CITGO stations across the country, Lemont Refinery employees also make a major positive impact on the community. Each year, more than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars are given in support of community programs such as Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way and a variety of environmental and preservation programs. Operations at the Lemont Refinery began in 1925 with a major expansion, doubling the facility, in 1933. Over the years, new units were added to meet the demand for a better quality of gas for automobiles, aviation fuel for WWII, and the production of asphalt. Petróleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, acquired 100% ownership of the refinery in 1997 and began operations as CITGO Lemont Refinery. For more information, visit www.citgorefining.com/Lemont.

CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.